Sidmouth’s Christmas lights will be switched on this Saturday, November 18.

This year, for the first time, the event will include a parade to promote Sidmouth School of Art's Winter Light Festival, taking place in February.

There will be plenty going on in the town centre on Saturday afternoon and evening. From 3.30pm Gliddon’s steam traction engine will be giving trailer rides around the town from the Market Place. Sid Valley Radio will be providing music and entertainment from 4pm, with local musician Ashley Leeds. 

At 4.45pm the ‘Light Parade’ will be performed by Sidmouth College Year 7 students and Sidmouth School of Art. This is to raise awareness of the Winter Light Festival early next year, which will feature illuminated art installations around the Sensory Garden and Riverside Walkway.

The annual ‘Golden Ticket’ draw will take place at 5.15pm - a chance for local primary school children, who will have received a ticket at school, to win a £100 toy voucher generously donated by Gliddon’s Toy Shop.

At 5.30pm the Christmas lights will be switched on by 97-year-old Olive Flynn, with the chair of Sidmouth Town Council Chris Lockyear.

Cllr Lockyear said: “It is entirely fitting that all parts of our community are recognised to lead our lights switch-on. Last year we had the Head Boy and Girl of Sidmouth College and it was thought that having a more senior resident was one way of doing this again for 2023.”

Sidmouth’s Christmas light display and switch-on are provided by Sidmouth Town Council, supported by Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce. They are grateful to Kings Garden Centre which has provided the town’s Christmas Tree.